Best Budget Stair Gate

Lindam Easy Fit Plus Deluxe

If you're looking for an easily-assembled all-purpose gate available for less than your fortnightly nappy bill, then this Lindam stair gate could be for you.

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Our tester really rated this stair gate and scored it the highest out of all the others.

The gate was tested in her busy family home and placed a 'high traffic' area of the house for 6 weeks, where it was opened or closed at least 40 times a day. During the testing period, she found it be really secure and stable in that environment.

In recent independent lab testing undertaken by Which?, this gate, however, failed a key safety test. Munchkin, the company that owns Lindam, while taking Which?'s feedback seriously and reviewing the issues raised, has not encountered any safety or reliability problems. They have performed an internal inventory audit and found their gates to be compliant with all product safety standards as per EN1930.

The Easy Fit Plus Deluxe still complies with European safety standards and Lindam are challenging Which?'s findings.

When it comes to products like this, safety is of course paramount. While we don't test in a lab, we think testing by real families in real homes provides an invaluable true-to-life insight into the quality of a product.

We also tested Lindam's other gate, the Sure Shut Deco. While more expensive, it received a similar score from our tester and has previously passed Which?'s safety testing. This is why we have chosen the Sure Shut Deco as Mumsnet Best.

Pros

  • Quick to install and leaves no marks on doorways when removed (ideal for rented properties)
  • All-but-immovable once in position
  • Wipe-clean metal and plastic-protected hinges
  • Budget-friendly price

Cons

  • Can’t be used at the top of stairs or in extra narrow or uneven openings
  • No other colour combinations available
  • Extensions sold separately

Key features of the Lindam Easy Fit Plus Deluxe?

  • Pressure-fitted metal gate with white and blue plastic fittings, suitable for doorways and the bottom of stairs
  • Not suitable for the top of stairs, extra-narrow openings or uneven walls
  • Can be adapted for spindle banisters with Lindam Staircase Fixing Kit (sold separately)
  • Minimum width: 76cm; maximum width: 82cm (up to 117cm with a combination of Lindam universal extensions, sold separately)
  • 10-minute, no-tool assembly
  • Conforms to safety directive EN 1930: 2011
  • Comes with a lifetime guarantee when registered with Lindam within 30 days

RRP: £26

How big is the Easy Fit Plus Deluxe stair gate?

Dimensions: 4.5cm (D) x 75cm (W) x 75cm (H)
Weight: 998g

The Lindam Easy Fit Plus Deluxe is a superb, all-purpose pressure-fit gate, designed to fit doorways and the bottom of stairs. It’s sturdy, well-made and swings open without difficulty. It can be fully assembled using wall clips and sticky pads in the same time it takes to make a cuppa. Once in place, it’s almost immovable – no matter how many children might slam or swing on it. The open-and-close mechanisms are straightforward and can be mastered by older and younger children, while remaining impenetrable to your adventurous toddler. Its painted metal and sturdy white and blue fittings are all wipe-clean, and corners and hinges are covered to protect exploring fingers. All that, and it’s exceedingly budget-friendly at only £26. The Easy Fit Plus Deluxe is an entry-level gate that excels in all areas and feels like a really quality piece of kit.

Lindam Easy Fit Plus Deluxe stair gate

How easy is the Easy Fit Plus Deluxe to assemble?

As a pressure-fit gate, the Easy Fit Plus Deluxe is designed for doorways and the bottom of stairs (and can be adapted for spindle banisters with the separate Staircase Fixing Kit). Pressure gates aren’t intended for the top of stairs, as they’re not considered strong enough to be safe up there, and they don’t work in uneven doorways, as the pressure can’t be applied evenly at all points.

It’s important to measure where the gate will be positioned at its narrowest point before you buy, to see whether you’ll need any extensions. The 7cm, 14cm and 28cm Lindam universal extension kits are all sold separately, and it’s frustrating having a delay while you place another order. But with the maximum combination of extensions attached, this gate covers an impressive 117cm, which should fit even the most extra-wide of doorways. (There’s a helpful graphic on Lindam’s website to show which combination you’ll need.)

Once you’ve got the right size stair gate for your home, assembly could not be easier. IKEA-style ‘diagrams-and-smiley-face’ instructions (you know the ones) are included in the box and are available to download via Lindam's website. Handy to have, but we think the process is so intuitive you’ll probably do without.

The stair gate arrives almost complete in the box, along with four screw-in gate adjusters and four wall cups with sticky pads. To assemble, screw in the four gate-adjusters at each corner of the gate and stick the wall cups in position with the pads. Then fit the gate inside the wall cups and tighten the adjusters with the little spanner provided.

There’s a red indicator on the locking mechanism that’s designed to disappear once the adjusters are tight enough. All the above took our tester less than 10 minutes: the speediest assembly of all the gates we tested.

How does the Easy Fit Plus Deluxe stair gate work?

It’s surprising that the Easy Fit Plus Deluxe is essentially Lindam’s entry-level pressure gate: it’s less expensive than the auto-closing Porte and Orto, and less striking to look at than the Deco – but it performs impressively in every metric tested.

Once up, the stair gate is with you for the long haul. After a testing period of several weeks in a high-traffic area (being opened or closed more than 50 times a day by none-too-gentle older siblings), an adult was unable to shake the gate out of position by more than a millimetre or so. Your rioting toddler will have no chance.

The gate could not be easier to use. To open, you squeeze two buttons and lift the hinge handle. To close, swing the gate shut and lower the hinge handle to lock.

Unlike other gates, the handle is designed for single-hand use and isn’t ridiculously stiff, although sometimes our tester found herself using two hands because the squeeze-and-lift motion is a slightly unnatural one.

In accordance with safety directive EN 1930:2011, the handle makes an audible clunk as it closes, so you know it’s secure. And since a gate that older siblings can’t open is a recipe for parental insanity, we’re happy to report that older children (probably from seven years old) will master the mechanism instantly, and younger ones (around four to six years) should get it with a little practice.

Is the Easy Fit Plus Deluxe stair gate safe?

The downside of pressure-fit gates is the need for a bottom bar, which can be a minor trip hazard for bleary-eyed parents.

The bottom bar of the Easy Fit Plus Deluxe is fairly typical for safety gates at 3×2cm – quite likely to result in a swearing-under-your-breath toe stubbing or two, while you get used to it.

It’s also a good idea to watch out for the uncovered bottom corner of the gate, as the turning circle is slightly wider than average and it’s easy to catch a bare foot.

As far as your adventurous toddler goes though, you can rest easy. There are no detachable or insecure pieces, so no choking hazards; all the hinges are covered in rounded plastic fittings, making it impossible to pinch a finger; and the ultra-secure wall mounts mean this gate will stand firm against anything thrown at it – deliberately or accidentally.

How easy is the Easy Fit Plus Deluxe stair gate to clean?

The Easy Fit Plus Deluxe is made from wipe-clean painted metal. The pressure-fitted stair gate isn’t available in any darker colour combinations but we were impressed with how little dirt the white fitting attracted during the testing period.

When it comes to performing a deeper clean, the eight narrow bars on the gate itself are a little fiddly but any smudges or spillages were easily removed. Mud, baby food and blackcurrant juice all came off without any stains.

Somewhat frustratingly, the gate doesn’t pop out when you want to give the house a clean. Instead, the whole gate has to be removed from the wall cups using the spanner to loosen the gate adjusters. We suggest keeping the gate in place and vacuuming around it if you can.

Is the Easy Fit Plus Deluxe stair gate good value for money?

It may not be the best-looking stair gate but for ease of installation, intuitive daily use and sheer, stubborn immovability, the Easy Fit Plus Deluxe gets top marks.

All of that is even more impressive considering one of these will only set you back £26. This pressure-fit stair gate sits on the cheaper end of the market while sailing blithely past all of its competitors. For a budget buy or a extra gate at a grandparent's house perhaps, it’s hard to beat.

Available from Lindam’s website, Argos and Amazon.
If ordered directly from Lindam, delivery is free.
Extensions: 7cm – £9; 14cm – £15; 28cm – £18
Stair gate fixing kit: £5 for two

About Mumsnet Reviews

All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents after weeks of research and testing. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage. Read our how we test page to find out more.

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Awards

How we test

As well as testing for time of assembly, our tester installed all the gates in 'high traffic' areas of the house, so they’d be opened or closed at least 40 times a day.

Read more »
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